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When should you move hosts?

There are a many reasons why you may wish to move hosting providers. Maybe the hosting service you’re currently receiving is unreliable? Perhaps you would like to move to a hosting provider that offers more features or better technical support? As with any other supplier, it’s never a bad idea to weigh up options.

In today’s blog post we will look at some of the common reasons why people move hosting providers when it is right to move.

When is it time to move?

There’s a wide range of factors to consider, but also a great deal of disruption that can be caused when moving your website. Weighing these benefits and risks is vital to making the right decision for you business. So here are our top reasons for moving host and what you should consider:

Website ‘Uptime’ Availability Reliability

Just how reliable is your website where it is now? Do you experience any ‘downtime’? (times when the website is offline or inaccessible) or is your website always available? Even the best hosting provider occasionally experiences the a temporary outage, but if this is a regular or recurring issue then action is needed! Sometimes an outage may be caused by ‘network congestion’ (i.e. busy traffic between you and the server) which may mean it appears down for some people but not all.

If your website appears down for you, it’s worth testing this to be sure. You can use any of the freely available tools below to do this:

Search engines will typically visit your site every few weeks or a month to re-index your pages. If this happens when your website is offline, search engines will either move you down the rankings temporarily until they see it come back up. Because they visit only every few weeks to a month, this means that even a few hours of outage may hurt the traffic to your site for weeks.

Website Speed

Closely related to the uptime reliability is website speed. This is important as Google now uses page load speed as a ranking factor so fast-loading websites will rank higher in Google than an identical website that runs slower.

The overall speed of your website depends on both the resources your host has, as well as how efficiently the website uses those resources. So if your website appears slow, this could be either the host or the website itself that is the cause.

Luckily, there are a great number of caching plugins available for WordPress which will reduce the amount of work your website has to do in order to server a web page, helping it use the available resources more efficiently, some of the best WordPress caching plugins are:

Support

It is rare for a hosting company to offer much support beyond simply ensuring the hosting account is working (it will be up to either yourself or your web developers to ensure your website is correctly setup and configured). For an additional price, some hosting companies may offer managed hosting with support packages that may be worth considering (this will depend greatly on how you work with your current developers and what the requirements of your website are.

Price

As with any supplier, price is a factor. We have listed this one last because if you choose a host based on price only, they will actually likely end up being more expensive for your business in the long run.

This may seem counter-intuitive but we have seen many businesses fall foul of the price trap. We discuss in much more detail why you should never choose a cheap host in more detail here. In a nutshell, some cheaper hosts will often be slow and and unreliable. Perhaps more importantly, they will often not included vital features your website needs in order to function and will sell these as ‘add ons’ – making back the savings you would have made while still offering you a below-par server that isn’t quite fit for purpose.

If you need help looking for a fast, reliable host for your WordPress website, why not get in touch with the Audit My Website team? We provide high quality managed WordPress hosting and would be happy to discuss your requirements with you.

Why Your Website Needs an SSL Certificate

Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

Just what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPs? Most people we speak to are aware it means the website has an SSL certificate which means the connection is secure. But it’s not yet widely know that every website should now be using HTTPs and many reading this post will likely be thinking, “I don’t have a web shop or collect credit card information so it probably isn’t something I need to worry about”. If this is you then you definitely need to read this article!

So if you’re wondering “do I need an SSL certificate?”, the answer in 2017 is definitely. In our opinion, every website should now have an SSL certificate regardless of what you actually do and we will detail the benefits this will bring your business. But it may also surprise you to know that not all HTTPs websites are equally secure, this post will detail how HTTPs benefits your business and how you can maximise the benefits of using it.

Look for the Little Green Lock

Perhaps you’ve seen the ‘green lock’ in the top left of your browser bar before? If you use Google Chrome, this is what it will likely look like – each browser shows it differently, but will show you if the connection is partly, or fully secured.

If something is not right with the certificate (for instance: if it has expired or is invalid in some way, you will recieve an error like below:

You may have noticed – if the website is partially secured, you will see an imagine perhaps similar to that below:

Notice the grey ‘i’ and how this does not say ‘secure’. This means the website has an SSL certificate and is using HTTPs, however, something about the way in which it uses it is not safe. If this is your website – read on as we detail what you need to do!

What are the benefits of SSL?

First, what is SSL / HTTPs and why is it important? SSL provides the foundation of your website security, it does a few things to achieve this:

  • It ‘authenticates’ the domain to your server – meaning your visitors can be confident the website they are accessing is the ‘real McCoy’ (i.e. not a forgery or a dummy website set up to dupe people into handing over credit card information). To your business this means instant online credibility!

  • It encrypts data, securing it as it passes between the user and your website, making it practically impossible for hackers to ‘listen in’ and intercept communications (sometimes called a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack). This applies to all information, including personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information such as credit card details.

However, due to recent developments, your website will enjoy some new benefits as a result of having a fully secured SSL certificate, these are:

  • Google Indexing of mobile websites : In 2015, Google announced they would be indexing HTTPs over HTTP, this means if all else is equal between your website and a competitor, if you have SSL and they don’t, you can expect to rank higher. Who doesn’t want to give their business the best chance to win that business over a competitor?

  • SSL is required for AMP : As the web goes more mobile, a new technology has been developed by Google called “Accelerated Mobile Pages” (AMP) which is an integrated mobile platform. SSL is required for your website to be considered for this technology.

Why Some SSL Is Insecure

Notice how we say SSL ‘provides the foundation’ of your website security – what you build on top is just as important. This leads us back to why some websites that have SSL are less secure and show the ‘grey icon’ in the address bar we mentioned earlier.

Many websites use external code, scripts and services. If your website is integrated with other services such as Google Maps for example, it will likely need to load some Javascript code or HTML from Google’s server.

These should also be loaded using HTTPs. Even though your web page is secure to the end user, because it loads from insecure sources – the web page itself can no longer be considered secure at all! It is a bit like having secure locks on your front door, but leaving the window open. Just like your business premises, your website security can only be as good as its weakest point!

Thankfully, it’s usually fairly easy to audit your website and ensure all your scripts, code and resources load using HTTPs to win the prize of a green lock and enjoy the maximum benfit in search rankings of a fully scured website.

Do You Need Total Security?

If your website is not quite fully secured and you would like someone to audit your website to ensure you have a green lock and everything uses SSL, why not get in touch with Audit My Website? We specialise in auditing websites and resolving issues like these.

By | 2017-07-14T17:40:07+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Categories: Website Audit|Tags: , , , , , , , , |
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Website Audits, SEO Services

Our complete all-in-one website audit includes code reviews, SEO audits and … to ensure the optimum health of your website

  • We will review your website at a code level and report on performance and content quality

  • Over 100 quality checks made and verified

  • Inform you where the issues may lie and how they can be fixed

  • Quality website audit from only £599 + VAT

  • Money back guarantee if we cannot find any issues upon your site

 Call us on 0161 300 8150 or email hello@auditmywebsite.co.uk

Website Audits in Manchester - Audit My Website, SEO Service and Performance Benchmarking
Do you offer a money back guarantee? 2017-06-16T13:46:25+00:00

Yes! If we cannot find any issues with your website, then we will refund you in full.

How much does this all cost me? 2017-06-16T13:40:03+00:00

Our standard website audit costs only £799£599 + VAT (special offer price)

We also have a range of add-ons to suit your requirements:

Expedited process: +£250. Standard turnaround time is 5-7 days, the expedited reduces this to 36 hours

Competitor ranking: +£150. We will take upto 5 competitor websites and see how you rank against them

Backlink reporting: +£150. We will perform backlink checks so you can see who is linking back to your site

Source code review (Microsoft code only): +£750. This allows us to perform low level source code review of your sites core to see if best practices have been observed.

We will provide the report as a downloadable PDF and call you to discuss in more detail. A hard copy can also be provided upon request.

Can you fix stuff as well that you identify? 2017-06-16T13:37:14+00:00

In most cases absolutely yes. We say in most cases as there are always the exceptions to this rule. We will outline all the issues we find and put forward a proposal for us to address them for you along with how urgent they are so you can prioritise accordingly.

What do you need to get started? 2017-06-16T13:37:20+00:00

You can order direct from our website and pay securely online. Alternatively we can invoice you directly, just let us know what is best.

We will need obviously the URL of the website to audit, administrative logins for the site, keyword lists you are ranking for, competitor url’s, access to source code and thats pretty much it.

Once we have cleared payment, we then can start the website audit and will be in touch within the following week to discuss the findings..

Do I really need an audit of my website? 2017-06-14T16:16:32+00:00

Answer: Highly likely.

Websites are notoriously complex animals that do need nurturing to get the most out of them. Many clients invest thousands of pounds upon their site and then expect it to sit there and work away. What they don’t realise is that search engines update their algorithms regularly, things break, technologies change, errors creep in, pages get slower and more.

Our website audit process is designed to help you identify any issues and help you develop a plan of action in order to fix them once and for all.

Website Scalability

Website Scalability

Having the right digital infrastructure to grow is more important than you may think. Many tools you use day to day can be discarded and replaced by something more appropriate as and when needed. You need to have peace of mind that your website will not encounter website scalability issues. What do we mean by this? One possible website scalability definition could be your websites capability to grow and scale as your business develops. The challenges this can highight can come in many forms:

  • are getting the best performance from your website

  • can rest assured that your website is secure and will be reliable day-to-day

  • can confidently develop your website further, knowing it is scalable enough to grow with your business.

So what do you get with our website audit package?

SEO technical audit

You receive the full, top-level SEO audit which analyses your sites pages and structure to ensure you are properly utilising the full potential. Our report covers areas such as page titles and meta tags, headings and other key content is correctly in place and setup. We will check to ensure the search engines find you easily and only search the relevant content.

We check any errors search engines encountered when crawling and indexing your site to make it a search engine friendly as possible.

Many SEO issues prove hard to spot: broken links can often arise due to pages moving or domains (of websites you link to) being discontinued but won’t be immediately obvious without the right tools. If not properly managed, these factors can have increasingly negative impacts on your rankings in search engines like Google. Similarly, you may have some very content rich pages that you are only getting two thirds of your deserved visibility from in search engines.

Code Review

Code reviews are the only way some issues can be spotted at all. Similar to taking your car for an annual service, it can head off and resolve issues before they become critical for your business. We will review the code at a high level, making sure it is suitable for your business needs, paying particular attention to ensuring it is both scalable and future-proof. If you find some pages slow to load, or doing some actions on your site take a long time a code review is a must. This can also highlight any security vulnerabilities and potentially dangerous code.

Structural Survey

Ensuring your site has an optimal page structure and appropriate navigation not only helps visitors find what they need (which will improve conversion rates), it will also helps search engines index your site which, in turn, will give you better SEO performance.

Content marketing is a discipline in it’s own right and one that is integral to your online marketing strategy. Ensuring that call-to-actions (CTAs) are well placed and clearly visible will ensure your pages are as high converting as possible.

Having an appropriate foundational structure is also vital to support your website’s growing needs as it develops with your business. Helps protect your investment in your website and give it the best outlook possible.

Content Analysis

One of the most vital aspect of your website’s health is the content. Content that is well-written and highly optimised is essential for good rankings, but this is only the first step. Your website’s copy should be engaging to the right kind of visitor you are looking to attract. Content marketing is a discipline in it’s own right and one that is integral to your online marketing strategy and efforts. Ensuring that call-to-actions (CTAs) are well placed and clearly visible will ensure your pages are as high converting as possible.

Performance Benchmarking

The last, but probably the most important in terms of SEO and marketing performance is your website’s performance. How quickly a page loads will now affect rankings and sales. In 2010 Google announced they would use page load speed as a ranking factor; if your pages load slowly, you won’t get the rankings you deserve, even if you have your website SEO optimised. Perhaps more importantly, studies carried out by Akamai and Gomez found that nearly a half of web users expect the site to load in 2 seconds or less. Does your website load this quickly? The same study showed that 78% of web shoppers who have trouble with site performance say they won’t return to buy from the site again.

If you have any concerns about any of the issues we’ve detailed here, and interested in us carrying out a website audit? Why not get in touch – our prices start from only £999 + VAT, a small investment with potentially a massive return for you.

You receive the full, top-level SEO audit which analyses your sites pages and structure to ensure you are properly utilising the full potential. Our report covers areas such as page titles and meta tags, headings and other key content is correctly in place and setup. We will check to ensure the search engines find you easily and only search the relevant content.

We check any errors search engines encountered when crawling and indexing your site to make it a search engine friendly as possible.

Many SEO issues prove hard to spot: broken links can often arise due to pages moving or domains (of websites you link to) being discontinued but won’t be immediately obvious without the right tools. If not properly managed, these factors can have increasingly negative impacts on your rankings in search engines like Google. Similarly, you may have some very content rich pages that you are only getting two thirds of your deserved visibility from in search engines.

Security Audit

Security is more important than ever; you’ve probably already seen several I.T. related security scare stories in the media this year alone.  if you run a content managed website like WordPress , Umbraco, when was the last time you updated and checked all your plugins? Is your website CMS up to date with all the appropriate security patches and fixes? If even one patch is not applied, your website may have a gaping hole in security, making potentially any information it holds vulnerable to attack.

If you have a customer login area, have you checked all your users passwords and details are secure? Storing passwords in plaintext is a source of many problems for some websites and has lead to some large fines where users personal data has been put at unnecessary risk. This is the type of security weakness that will only get found out when inspecting and reviewing code or when an attack happens. Which would you feel safer with?

With a website audit you can start reaping the website scalability advantages today. If you require a more in-depth security review, we can arrange a full penetration test against your website, this is a lot more involved and very specialised but another service we can offer.

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